Ferst, who was a partner in the law firm of Blank, Rome, Comisky and McCauley, graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. While at law school, he was editor-in-chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.
Ferst also lectured in taxation, accounting and other subjects at Penn's Law School and was an assistant professor at Rutgers University School of Law. He was awarded a teaching fellowship at Louisiana State University and received a Master of Arts degree from that institution.
A member of the local, state and federal bar associations, he was co-author of Basic Accounting for Lawyers.
Active in the Jewish community, Ferst was a member of the Federation of Jewish Agencies' board of trustees, past FJA vice president, and treasurer and a former president of the Jewish Exponent.
He was chairman of Federation's Community Planning Committee; Advisory Board for Jewish Student Activities; special committee on tax policy affecting philanthropies of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds; and chairman of the board of Gratz College.
He was also vice president of the Pennsylvania Council of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and chairman of its Camp Harlam Institute Committee.
In addition, Ferst was a member of Society Hill Synagogue; the Allied Jewish Appeal Service Council, where he served on the Youth Activities and Community Relations Committees; Allied Jewish Appeal Committee on Taxation; the Speakers Committee of the Allied Jewish Appeal; Executive Committee of the Board of Jewish Education; the Jewish Welfare Board's Committee on Implementation and Recommendations; and a member and former chairman of the Zionist Youth Commission.
Ferst is survived by his wife, the former Helen Brickman; daughters Carol Baer Mott and Susan Shapiro; four grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.
Memorial donations can be made to: the Barton E. Ferst Jewish Music Education Fund, 7605 Old York Road, Melrose Park, PA 19027.